This morning on Nashville’s Fox 17, country music historian, Robert K. Oermann was talking about the humility of the late great George Jones. He said two things that caught my attention: “He had no idea that he was George Jones,” obviously an inference to how down-to-earth the legend was, and “Everybody has a George story.”
Well, I’m no different to the average middle Tennessean in this respect. Back in the late nineties I was in the Nashville Airport coming from a flight when lo and behold, who should walk by me only about six feet away but ole George and one of my all-time-favorite all-around stars, Glen Campbell. They were engaged in a jovial conversation which was easy for me to hear. Though they were both icons, they were as much different in both looks and style as one could imagine. Glen towered over George so much that it reminded me of the old ‘Mutt and Jeff’ cartoons of the 1950′s, which most of my readers can’t relate to, since many weren’t even born at the time. George was slump shouldered and Glen robust and broad. But they are both a major part of the core of country.
Obviously it is a coincidence that both were rumored dead earlier this month, when both were very alive. Though plagued by Alzheimer’s disease, Glen is still with us for now. There will be a public funeral service for George this Thursday, May 2nd, at the “Mother Church of Country Music,” the Ryman Auditorium on Broadway in Music City. He will never be forgotten.